Watching Handmaid’s Tale on a rainy afternoon. Praise be.
Adam Grant recently wrote an article about languishing (NYT April 19, 2021)
It wasn’t burnout — we still had energy. It wasn’t depression — we didn’t feel hopeless. We just felt somewhat joyless and aimless. It turns out there’s a name for that: languishing. Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. And it might be the dominant emotion of 2021.
Here I was…thinking I was suffering from ennui, French word for “a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.” You can only pronounce the word correctly if you’re sitting in front of a Paris brasserie in the rain with a café au lait in front of you and the Eiffel Tower over there. That’s true.
Actually, I’m among the fortunate, the pandemic wasn’t particularly traumatic for me; my mood held up most of the time (in no small part due to my new house—thanks Michele and Steven). But for just a few weeks in March and to a lesser degree in April I did experience some of all of the above. And it was confusing. Hey, things are better…I can travel, my job will return, no one’s ill, I’m visiting—even without a mask in appropriate situations…so why so little energy, why dissatisfied? Languishing topped off with ennui.
And now they’re gone. Both of them. Did I mention it rained today? My manuscript is in good hands. The grant is submitted. Our art center will open in a couple of months. I have plane tickets and train tickets. My little yards have prettily greened up. And it rained. And June will outlast Gilead. Praise be.